The idea behind the new Johnnie Walker Ghost & Rare series is to bring back malts from distilleries that no longer work. There are plenty of distilleries across Scotland that have been closed in the past 200 years. JW are breathing new life into some of these wit this series.
The collection already has two other expressions in its line up. These include a Ghost & Rare Brora in 2017 and Ghost & Rare Port Ellen in 2018. An interesting fact about both of these distilleries is that they are both planned for reopening.
Both are owned by Diageo, who also own Johnnie Walker. The company is reviving Brora and Port Ellen in 2020, with an investment of £35 million. This is exciting news for Whisky fans as both distilleries are somewhat legendary.
The Ghost & Rare series offers a precursor to the new releases that will come with the opening of Brora and Port Ellen.
The Glenury Royal Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
The third release in the Ghost & Rare series is from the Glenury Royal. This distillery was opened in 1825 by Robert Barclay, a Captain and MP.
It was given a Royal status due to the friendship between the Captain and King William IV. But its initial success did not last long, and it burnt down a few weeks after opening.
Things picked up when it reopened and it managed to remain in business until the 1980s. This was when the Whisky industry all over the world suffered massive losses. Scotch producers found demand dwindling and many distilleries closed. Glenury Royal was one of those.
While it remains closed today, the malt is still available now and again, and JW have brought it back for Ghost & rare. It has been blended with grain whiskey from Cambus, another closed distillery, and single malt from Pittyvaich, also closed. This is as well s five other malts from closed distilleries, including Glenelgin, Cameronbridge,Glenlossie, Inchgower, and Glenkinchie.
Tasting notes for The Glenury Royal Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
The nose opens with lots of fruit and sweet nuts. Pecans, raisins and apples appear, giving it depth and elegance. There is a hint of caramel and dark chocolate, combing the ideal mix of bitter and sweet.
Almonds develop into marzipan on the palate alongside big notes of malted grains and vanilla. The vanilla is especially good and brings in sweeter notes of caramel and toffee.
More dried fruits come out, with apricots and peaches giving it a nice bite. The sweetness is nuanced and well explored.
The finish is bold and long, lingering on vanilla and dried fruits.
JW have impressed us many times in the past and they’ve done it again with the Ghost & Rare Glenury Royal. If only they were bringing it back for good!